Pope Francis outlines 15 ways the Holy See can shape up
 

Newsmaker of the day: Pope Francis

Pope uses his holiday greeting to enumerate the 15 sins of the Curia


 
Say hi to Montreal for me: Pope Francis greets Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix during a mass for Canadian saints at the Vatican. Giampiero Sposito/Reuters

(Giampiero Sposito/Reuters)

Pope Francis used a Christmas address to the Holy See today to deliver a stern what-for to those who run the Vatican bureaucracy.

In his holiday greeting, the Pope enumerated 15 sins of the Curia from vanity to gossip to working too hard.

Here’s the list, as parsed by the Associated Press. (Shorter version: Bah, humbug.)

1. Feeling immortal, immune or indispensable. “A Curia that doesn’t criticize itself, that doesn’t update itself, that doesn’t seek to improve itself is a sick body.”

2. Working too hard. “Rest for those who have done their work is necessary, good and should be taken seriously.”

3. Becoming spiritually and mentally hardened. “It’s dangerous to lose that human sensibility that lets you cry with those who are crying, and celebrate those who are joyful.”

4. Planning too much. “Preparing things well is necessary, but don’t fall into the temptation of trying to close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which is bigger and more generous than any human plan.”

5. Working without coordination, like an orchestra that produces noise. “When the foot tells the hand, ‘I don’t need you’ or the hand tells the head ‘I’m in charge.’ “

6. Having “spiritual Alzheimer’s.” “We see it in the people who have forgotten their encounter with the Lord … in those who depend completely on their here and now, on their passions, whims and manias, in those who build walls around themselves and become enslaved to the idols that they have built with their own hands.”

7. Being rivals or boastful. “When one’s appearance, the color of one’s vestments or honorific titles become the primary objective of life.”

8. Suffering from “existential schizophrenia.” “It’s the sickness of those who live a double life, fruit of hypocrisy that is typical of mediocre and progressive spiritual emptiness that academic degrees cannot fill. It’s a sickness that often affects those who, abandoning pastoral service, limit themselves to bureaucratic work, losing contact with reality and concrete people.”

Related reading: Pope Francis: The Vatican’s radical 

9. Committing the “terrorism of gossip.” “It’s the sickness of cowardly people who, not having the courage to speak directly, talk behind people’s backs.”

10. Glorifying one’s bosses. “It’s the sickness of those who court their superiors, hoping for their benevolence. They are victims of careerism and opportunism, they honour people who aren’t God.”

11. Being indifferent to others. “When, out of jealousy or cunning, one finds joy in seeing another fall rather than helping him up and encouraging him.”

12. Having a “funereal face.” “In reality, theatrical severity and sterile pessimism are often symptoms of fear and insecurity. The apostle must be polite, serene, enthusiastic and happy and transmit joy wherever he goes.”

13. Wanting more. “When the apostle tries to fill an existential emptiness in his heart by accumulating material goods, not because he needs them but because he’ll feel more secure.”

14. Forming “closed circles” that seek to be stronger than the whole. “This sickness always starts with good intentions but as time goes by, it enslaves its members by becoming a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body and causes so much bad — scandals — especially to our younger brothers.”

15. Seeking worldly profit and showing off. “It’s the sickness of those who insatiably try to multiply their powers and to do so are capable of calumny, defamation and discrediting others, even in newspapers and magazines, naturally to show themselves as being more capable than others.”

The Associated Press suggests the speech did not go over well: “Cardinals were not amused.”


 
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Newsmaker of the day: Pope Francis

  1. In spite of all the hoopla about this pope…..he hasn’t done anything.

    Pedophile priests are still a commonplace, Vatican banking is a criminal activity, none of them are adhering to the words of Jesus, and…well…. the list goes on and on………he hasn’t even started on the ‘sins’.

    I will be very glad when the world leaves medieval beliefs, power plays and practices behind.

    • What are “commonplace” are inane remarks from Emilyone.

      • Can’t face reality eh?